I am looking for a micro ATX or mini ITX motherboard that has thunderbolt and ethernet >=2.5G, and the only one I found was the ROG Strix Z790-i. Wich has odd audio features.
According to the user manual all the audio features work thru the Hive. I have found no reference to HDMI or Displayport audio.
Does the ROG Strix 790-i has audio over HDMI or Displayport? Do I have to use the hive to have any audio output at all?
The availability of audio output through HDMI and DP connections on the motherboard depends on whether your connected monitor has built-in speakers.
Additionally, you need to select the audio output through the monitor in the system settings.
I will try to check tonight if HDMI out has audio with it. Video out def works, but don't remember when I tested it (normally use DP from graphics card - and monitors do get audio via DP). Give me 24 hours.
The answer is no. Asus Z790i Strix cannot output sound over HDMI. Just tried with HDMI cable - no sound. "Odd features" is very mildly and politely put.
Buy a separate USB sound card like Soundblaster and have a 3.5mm stereo cable to the monitor input.
Discrete graphics card with DP port - sound can get out on DP (with Nvidia High Definition Audio - being part of Nvidia card and driver, not Z790i) - if your monitor can accept DP.
It appears, the only way for the sound to be generated by this board is through the 3.5mm jack on the HIVE gizmo connected by a proprietary-spec cable to the board, so you are back to square one of having a 3.5mm cable to the monitor sound input. DP (if your monitor supports display port, and if you have a discrete graphics card) avoids a separate sound cable. If you don't have a graphics card, this wouldn't work as this board doesn't have a DP port either.